Stanford hires away GymCats coach Tabitha Yim; UA assistants to run program
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Stanford hires away GymCats coach Tabitha Yim; UA assistants to run program

Stanford has hired away one of the Arizona Wildcats' top young coaches.

Tabitha Yim was tabbed as her alma mater's head women's gymnastics coach on Wednesday morning. UA assistants John Court and David McCreary will run the Wildcats' program while athletic director Dave Heeke searches for a replacement. 

"We want to thank Tabitha for her two years of service at Arizona and wish her good luck at Stanford," Heeke said.

Yim replaces Kristen Smyth, who resigned Aug. 11 after 16 years with the program. No reason has been given for Smyth's sudden departure, though Stanford finished 28th nationally — woefully low for the prideful program — a year ago.

Yim spent the last two seasons as Arizona's head coach; before that, she spent five years as a Cardinal assistant. Yim graduated from Stanford in 2008 with a degree in human biology.

"I am thrilled to be returning home to The Farm, and am passionate about carrying on the amazing legacy of this program and university," Yim said in a news release. 

Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir said he "couldn't be more pleased to welcome Tabitha back to The Farm."

Yim was a 14-time All-American during her four years (2005-08) at the school, a mark that is still a program record. Yim was the 2008 Pac-12 women's gymnast of the year. 

"Her credentials as a gymnast and a coach speak for themselves, and I know she's ready to help our student-athletes reach their full potential in the gym, in the classroom, and in their lives beyond campus," he said. 

Many considered the 31-year-old Yim to be among the top young coaches on campus. The Irvine, California native led the GymCats to a sixth-place Pac-12 finish in her first season. The UA was seventh in the Pac-12 last year. Yim made a base salary of $105,000 per year at Arizona, and is bound to pull in more at Stanford. The private school does not release salary figures. 

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